Jorge Posada was out of the lineup on Friday, and Joe Girardi had a perfectly reasonable explanation.
Brett Gardner has terrific career numbers against Ricky Romero. The Yankees other regular outfielders have hit well against lefties, and so has platoon starter Andruw Jones. Mark Teixeira was ready to play again after a shoulder injury. The only way to get all of those players in the lineup was to sit Posada.
“I actually thought his at-bats were pretty decent (Thursday) night, but this is the lineup that I chose today,” Girardi said. “I really wanted to get Gardy in there against Romero because of his success, and we brought Jonesy over here to hit against left-handed pitching, and he’s swung the bat pretty well against left-handed pitchers so far this year. That’s why I chose to do what I did.”
Hard not to notice, though, that Posada is hitting .130 and hasn’t had a hit since his sixth home run of the season last Saturday.
For a while, Posada remained productive despite his low batting average, but that was because of an unsustainable home run rate. Without the home runs, Posada has just three singles to go with his 20 strikeouts. Maybe it’s because of age, maybe it’s because of his adjustment to a new role, and maybe it’s nothing more than a rocky start to what will become a good season.
Question is, how long will the Yankees give Posada regular chances to find his swing and produce more than scattered home runs?
Girardi said he plans to mix in some different designated hitters in the next few weeks, but he indicated that had less to do with Posada’s numbers and more to do with playing 32 games in 33 days. Again, the explanation made sense, but it was hard ignore the underlying issue.
“We talked about doing it before the season even started,” Girardi said. “That that was what we would have to do if you wanted to keep a guy’s bat in the lineup, an Alex or a Cano, if we were in long stretches. We talked about that before the season even started, and that Jorge would DH a lot for us, but it wouldn’t necessarily be every, every day.”
Associated Press photos